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Are 'lease to buy ' the new way to buy horses

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  • Are 'lease to buy ' the new way to buy horses

    I put an ad for a nice jumper mare I am trying to sell in the mid five figure range and out of 20 inquiries, I got 17 people asking me for a lease to buy option, 2 leases and one low ball offer...

    Is lease to buy, the way people purchase jumpers these days? Just curious. I usually sell prospects in the $20K range so I'm tapping into a new market and it has been quite interesting

  • #2
    I think its like anything, if people want a nicer horse than they can afford right now (like a car), this option solves the problem. I know a couple of girls who've done that--it basically gave them a year to "pay off" the horse (pretty much an installment contract).

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    • #3
      Keep in mind that a lease-to-buy and a payment plan are different beasts. I don't know if it's from inflation, but I've had to spend more for roughly the same quality horse over the past 10-15 years ("amateur" horses, ok movers, nicer jumpers, competitive at "A" shows). It used to be $20k, then 30k, now mid-five figures. Or maybe I'm getting older and am less brave?

      As a buyer, I think lease with option to buy is great. Of course, it's more risky for the seller if something happens to the horse or the horse ends not doing as well in another program. And the owner also takes the risk of having the horse returned in a year, when they will have to try to market the horse again.

      ETA: As a buyer, I've asked sellers if they have lease or payment options available. I've bought one on payments over 6 months.
      Last edited by veritas; Oct. 31, 2014, 02:40 PM. Reason: Update
      Ride on!

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      • #4
        As I get older, I truly think you need to work with a horse for longer than a few test rides to really get a feel if you will get on with that horse. I think every horse I have tried and bought has been very different once I had gotten to ride him or her over the next few months at home. Some, the differences were better, but some the differences were worse. So I can see the allure of leasing to buy, or just plain asking for a one-month or two-month lease before buying to be sure we're compatible.
        "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
        - Oscar Wilde

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        • #5
          I have three currently out on a lease to buy. The first one has been leased to the same family for the past three years. They pay him off next month!!

          The other two just left in the last month, so I'm unsure if they will just lease them or end up buying them. Both were lower 5 figure horses. We did 1/3 the sale price. 100% of the lease will apply to the purchase price at the end of the lease if they decide to buy. It works well for everyone and I know my horses are exactly what the buyer is looking for. They do keep them insured during the lease as well. I'm also picky the programs I'll allow them to go to.
          #JusticeForSunshine

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          • #6
            Everyone wants it and it is so annoying.... It's just another word for a payment plan. If some one wants to lease to buy one of ours the value of their initial payment goes down as they take longer to decide to buy the horse. And the full lease amount is almost never applied to the final price even if they decide to buy within the first few months. Of course there can be exceptions.

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            • #7
              My client is shopping now, and as the last horse she purchased was passed by a vet that covered up a ton of issues and should never have passed, we love the lease option. However, generally with a lease option, you have a shorter period of time to decide to purchase should you want the entire lease fee to apply to the sale price. Generally, three months. Then, on a sliding scale, a lesser percentage of your lease fee is applicable over the course of the year. So if you decide to buy after the full year, usually only 50% or less of your lease fees goes towards purchase. I think this is totally fair-otherwise, there is no incentive for the seller. But, having a client badly burned once, I do appreciate when a seller will offer similar terms.
              Cornerstone Equestrian
              Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
              RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
              www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mademoiselle View Post
                I put an ad for a nice jumper mare I am trying to sell in the mid five figure range and out of 20 inquiries, I got 17 people asking me for a lease to buy option, 2 leases and one low ball offer...

                Is lease to buy, the way people purchase jumpers these days? Just curious. I usually sell prospects in the $20K range so I'm tapping into a new market and it has been quite interesting
                I have a hunter for sale in the same price range and my experience has been very similar. Though he is listed for sale or lease, almost 100% of the inquiries are for a lease. I think buyers are able to hedge their bet that way if the horse doesn't work out. While I can understand that mindset from a buyer's perspective, as a seller I think a flat out purchase is by far the least risk to me and that buyer should be rewarded with the best purchase price. IMO, applying 100% of the lease fee to the purchase price benefits the buyer only. However, sellers become willing to compromise because they want some form of deal.

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                • #9
                  I hate to say it, but this is what less-than-honest horse-sellers have wrought.

                  Buyers don't trust that the seller will be honest about all the horse's quirks and issues. Some things take a bit of time to surface.

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                  • #10
                    I offer people who lease one of our horses the opportunity to buy the horse with the entire lease fee counting towards the purchase price. Leasing a nice horse is often better for me than selling them, since I can ride them when they are between homes, but I think if someone falls in love with a horse they should be able to buy it... and from my perspective, it's the same amount of money in the end. It all comes down to where the horse is coming and going from. You want to make sure that both parties are trustworthy and then there are usually no problems. I would not send a horse somewhere where I thought it would not come back the same as when it arrived, and a good trainer will tell you that they don't want to take a horse for a client that they don't think they can maintain at the same level. It's when you start messing around with the sketchy people that the problems always start, whether you are buying, selling, leasing or making payments. I have learned the expensive way: no sketchy people allowed!
                    Trinity Farm LLC
                    Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                    Like us on Facebook:
                    https://www.facebook.com/TrinityFarmLLC

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                    • #11
                      It is becoming more common and I think it is better to have more than a few rides to decide if the fit is right as it can sometimes take a few months for certain "quirks" to surface. I have found many sellers are also willing to give trial periods which is a good compromise to a full out lease. The lease fee is often put toward the purchase price of the horse.
                      Westbrook Farm
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